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tv   [untitled]    March 19, 2012 9:30pm-10:00pm EDT

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firing a warning shot last week on the ryan plan. what type of criticism could he face among conservatives? >> that's going to be one of the really interesting questions. said basically any budget that doesn't call for spending cuts, that would eliminate deficits in ten years would be an exercise in futility. it is going to be very interesting to see where some of the tea party conservatives come down on the ryan plan. they voted for it last year. it's basically going to be the same plan as they saw last year. but there might be some pressure to say they want to go faster, farther, faster. the problem for the house leadership is going to be, you know, they've been railing on democrats in the senate for not coming up with a budget. the senate democrats have just -- they know they can't get anything past. they don't put anything down on paper that can be attacked. they haven't had a budget in three years. it's one of the house republicans' biggest talking points against democrats, their inability to come up with a budget there is going to be a
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lot of pressure on the tea party conservatives to go ahead and fall into line and vote for this, because the worst thing that could happen for republicans would be to put out this plan and have it be scuttled by conservatives. >> rosalyn helderman is joining us from the "washington post" newsroom. her piece is available online. thank you very much for being was. >> thank you very much for having me. >> this is "washington today" on c-span radio. we want to go back to another issue that is tied in directly to what congressman paul ryan will be outlining later this week as he talks about his new budget plan and the impact potentially on overhauling medicare. democrats and their allies today beginning a week-long celebration of the homeowner law and a coordinated push to defend its benefits for senior citizens as a way to take aim at the ryan budget plan. the white house and house democrats out thing the latest figures according to the hill newspaper on how many medicare beneficiaries have benefitted from the law while launching robocalls in 41 republican
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districts, attacking medicare cuts that could result from congressman ryan's budget proposal. here is more on how this issue is playing out with regard to the health care anniversary and the impact on the debate here in washington, specifically medicare. you're going hear from congressman javier becerra, democrat from california on a conference call earlier today. >> first question from daniel new howser. your line is open. >> i want to ask about the gop budget. you touched on it a little bit that is supposed to include a provision that paul ryan authored with ron wyden and purportedly, this is something that the republicans are going to say has some level of bipartisan support. do you think that the ryan/wyden part of this gop budget means that it's bipartisan? >> we'd like to take that. >> go ahead, javier. >> okay. i can start. first, let's recognize that the
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democrats have united behind the affordable care act. and we believe that not only is the savings that the affordable care act which it will bring over the years, not just to medicare and medicaid, but to health care generally in this country, snag is good, but something that should be built upon. the ryan budget, as you're aware, has called for the end of medicare as we know it. it would end the medicare guarantee. it would shift the cost of health care over to seniors. some estimates are that it would cost seniors out of pocket an additional $6,000. congressman ryan has worked with senator wyden on a proposal. we're not sure if that has yet been scored. but it's certainly not something that many of those of us who have supported medicare and its protection would be supporting if it indeed would call for the end of medicare as we know it. >> this is jan schakowsky. let me add to that. the key feature that we're
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opposed to is the lack of the medicare guarantee. what the ryan budget initially and now that the ryan/wyden proposal does is create a voucher which they say the difference is, it can also be used for what they call traditional medicare. you can still use that to buy into medicare. the problem is the voucher does not keep up. and that's in the proposal, would not keep up with the rising cost of health care, would fall behind in its ability to cover the costs, and therefore would shift the cost as the original ryan plan did to the older person. it also could create an adverse selection opportunity for -- that would put the sicker people
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into medicare where the private insurance companies would select for those people that are healthier, and would end up really ruining medicare, the current system that has a guarantee for seniors. that's what the seniors want. they don't want to have to either go out into the private market and search around with their voucher for something that will cover them. they don't want medicare to be -- itself to be diminished in some way, to become too expensive, and therefore ruined. and so we don't see a difference in principle between the original ryan budget and the ryan/wyden proposal and think that both are, in fact, equally bad or only marginally different
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but would still end medicare as we know it. >> congresswoman jan schakowsky is a democrat from illinois she was joined by democrat javier becerra on a teleconference on the health care issue. there was a reference to senator ron wyden, a democrat from oregon who has been working with congressman paul ryan. today in "the huffington post" and available online at, this op-ed from senator wyden saying preserving the medicare guarantee why i've been working with paul ryan. people on both sides of the aisle write senator wyden want to know why a progressive democrat is working with the author of last year's house budget on medicare reform. it's a rather lengthy op-ed. and this conclusion, this week congressman ryan will be unveiling the house republican budget. i do not know what the details of the budget will be. i did not write it and i cannot imagine a scenario where i will vote for it. i do know, however, because we work together, paul ryan now
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knows more about the medicare guarantee and protecting seniors from unscrupulous insurance practice than he did before. if that is reflected in his budget this year as someone who has been a fighter for seniors since i was 27 years old, i think that is a step in the right direction. you can read the entire op-ed at huffington and you're listening to "washington today" on c-span radio. we want to focus on the issue of whether or not you think congress can in fact work together. we heard that just a moment ago from senator paul ryan -- or senator ron wyden, his work with paul ryan. our listener feedback line is 202-626-7962. it's an issue we talked about this morning with bill galston. he is the co-founder of no labels on what he says are some of the structural changes he says are needed to fix the u.s. senate. here is more from his program. >> in senate testimony last week
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the question arose of why we were pushing so hard on these rules changes. why couldn't we simply appeal to members of congress to do the right thing. a senior senator said that to me. and it was very sincere and heartfelt. and i smiled and said, well, i wished things worked that way, but i don't think they do. and neither did the father of our constitution, james madison, who talked at length in the federalist papers about the necessity to use what he called auxiliary precautions to bolster legislators and to push them in the right direction. and so we do believe in a number of reforms to force the two parties to get together to talk on a bipartisan basis with the cameras not rolling, to put together bipartisan leadership teams. we appeal to them to sit together, which we thought was good start at the state of the union address a few months ago. and nearly half the members of
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congress did so. in our judgment, it becomes much harder to create the conditions for compromise when the members of the two parties don't even know each other. it's so easy to demonize people when you've never sat down at the same table for them, which for most members of the congress is now the case there is almost no bipartisan social contact. very few bipartisan meetings. so we have a series of proposals designed to change that. >> and they include having monthly bipartisan gatherings, having bipartisan seating, as you mentioned. also creating a bipartisan leadership committee. who would that committee commute to? >> this would be -- this would be a committee made up of the senior leaders. senior leaders on both sides. the effort would be to work out on a monthly basis some sense of what the agenda is going to be for the next month.
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they spend an enormous amount of time bickering about what they're going to talk about. thait they disagree about what they're going to talk about before they get around to disagreeing about the substance of the matter. if you had some disagreement between harry reid on the one and hand mitch mcconnell, people like that, okay, what are we going to try to get done in the next monthed on how can we organize our schedule to do it? that would be fabulous. >> bill galston joined us this morning on c-span's "washington journal". he is the co-founder of no labels. you can get more information by logging on to can bipartisanship return to the house and the senate? will congress work across-party lines, and how would you improve congress? do you have a recommend? 202 is the area code at the listener feedback line. 626-7962. give us a call. tell us where you're phoning from. keep your comments brief and we'll use some of your comments tomorrow and throughout the week here on "washington today." the phone number is
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202-626-7962. we welcome our listeners coast-to-coast on xm channel 119. we're streenld web at and other news today. on wall street, the dow was up six and the s&p up five. a task force led by condoleezza rice and former new york city schools chancellor joe kleine warning the nation's security is at risk if america's schools don't improve. the associated press obtained a copy of the findings which are going to be released on tuesday, cautioning that ill-prepared students affect national security. the report says the state department and u.s. intelligence agencies face critical short falls in the number of foreign language schweikers and says 75% of young adults don't qualify for the military because they're physically unfit have, criminal records or inadequate levels of education. the task force was organized with the council on foreign
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relations. another think tank reporting that a possible, a potential u.s. intervention in syria involving on the ground forces could require between 200 and 300,000 troops and cost up to $300 billion per year to be executed properly. this is from the brookings institution. no one there advocating the strategy involving an invasion. the report lays out six ways that president bashar al assad's ouster could occur, but it doesn't have any of the options ranging from a diplomatic solution, which the obama administration supports, to a libya-like air campaign backed by senator john mccain to a full-on invasion that would require significant troop numbers. the supreme court has turned down louisiana's bid to recover the congressional seat that was taken from the state as a result of the 2010 census. the court was not commenting on its order today preventing the state from pursuing a lawsuit that claims the census unfairly
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included undocumented immigrants in each state's population count. louisiana said that california, florida, texas, and other states with large populations of undocumented immigrants gained seats in the house of representatives at the expense of louisiana and a handful of other states. louisiana went from seven to six seats in the house based on the census. back in a minute with more "washington today." >> c-span radio is just a phone call away. you can listen live over your phone. dial 202-626-8888. >> you are listening to c-span radio live on audio now. c-span, created by cable, brought to you as a public service. >> calling charges or plan charges may apply that number again, 202-626-8888. >> and you are listening to "washington today" on c-span
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radio. the "wall street journal" reporting the u.s. has identified an american freed in iraq over the weekend. identifying the american citizen who was purportedly held captive for nine months by a militia royal to an iraqi shiite cleric, mochtar al sadr. before his release over the weekend, the embassy's chief spokesperson michael mclellan saying randy michael hults who was transferred to the embassy the day before the u.n.'s mission was neither an employer or a contractor and had been in iraq on private business. victoria nuland taking questions earliered in n the day. >> much like ngos at the embassy in cairo? >> no. as you know, he had been held captive. he was released into the hands of the u.n. >> right. >> and then the u.n. turned him over to us since he is an american citizen when he came to the u.s. embassy, he was in need of medical attention.
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he was open to being debriefed on his time in captivity, which of course was of interest to us. so it wasn't a matter of being held. it's a matter of he being one of our citizens and therefore we have consular responsibilities to him. >> you understand probably this is not according him immunity. that's why he is at the embassy. to ensure that he is not, for whatever reason, he is beyond the reach of some -- >> no, no, no. this is to help him to get on his way. i don't even know whether he has travel documents or any of the things that he would need. >> it's so odd that initially like on saturday, there was so little information about him. >> yeah. >> and you would think if there were an american who was being held, private or not, that somebody would know about it and there wouldn't be this level of confusion. >> well, i agree, jo. we were all a little confused over the weekend. in part in coming back to iraq he had not chosen as a private
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american and country to register with the embassy. so frankly, we didn't have any information about his whereabouts, et cetera. i will tell you that we did receive an e-mail around june of 2011 from an iraqi acquaintance of mr. hut's, saying he had not heard from this guy for several days. and the iraqi indicated in that e-mail that he was of the impression that mr. hultz was planning to leave iraq in the near future. so this was in jury june. and that was the first that we had ever heard of him. and at that point, we looked into it. we were able to figure out the hotel where the iraqi had thought he had been staying. and living. we consulted with the hotel with iraqi authorities in the weeks that followed, and we weren't able to find any trace of him. so at that point, we assumed i
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think that he had left the country. he had not chosen to contact us. so that was our only information about him one way or the other until he showed up at the u.n. >> and that iraqi friend never got back to you and said by the way, he is kidnapped? >> nope. and we were never contacted by any family members in the united states either. i agree with you. unusual story. other thoughts? andy. >> and some new details from the state department. again, the comments of victoria nuland on that american who was freed after being held captive for the last nine months, released over the weekend in iraq. a number of stories, including extensive piece with more details if you want to check it out on "the wall street journal" website. let's turn our attention to the health care debate. we're going to be hearing a lot this week and next week on the issue. usa today writing proponents and critics of the landmark law signed by the president in 2010 running tv ads, flooding the
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mail and post videos online in an effort to influence a deeply divided public on the eve of the law's two-year anniversary and ahead of three days of supreme court oral arguments. since 2010, the landmark health care law has taken a back seat to the economy and taxes, spending, and now gas prices. but it will be front and center. one other note about next week. the supreme court has given permission for news organizations to listen to the audio of the oral arguments. and here on c-span radio and on c-span television and online at, a chance for you to listen to the arguments each day as they're released in their entirety. well, a key part of what house democrats are now focusing on is the ipab that is the independent payment advisory board, which takes a look at medicare spending. but many house republicans want to abolish this medicare spending board in its entirety. it's an issue that came up with house republicans andy harris from maryland, tim griffin from arkansas as they spoke to reporters on capitol hill. >> were here when passed the
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health care law. were all freshmen. one of the most harsh criticisms we heard about the health care law dealt with ipab. that is often characterized from a variety of quarters. knowing what you know about this, is that still a fair description of that? is there some who oppose the health care law who still describe it in those terms? >> let me address that. we don't know what it's going to turn out to be. because the bill gave very broad authority to the independent payment advisory board to control those costs in any way they saw fit. so they could, in fact, fulfill the entire requirement through end of life care. they could, on the other hand, just impose an across-the-board payment cut to all providers, which would really result in the ration that you heard about. in my rural area, it's already
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hard to find a primary care provider who accepts medicare. across the board cut would be devastating. part of the problem with the independent advisory board is it is completely nonspecific as to how that is done with no congressional oversight to it. with regards to the question of costs, you know when you combine this repeal with the tort reform, we return money to the rshry and help to solve the deficit. it's completely sint with the republican principles. the budget that comes out tomorrow will include some medicare reform that might resemble this. just wanted to get your thoughts on that. your reaction to it. >> well, i think it's another example of the house leading, by throwing reforms out there to it, so that we can solve this problem. i mean, nothing but crickets
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from the senate on this front. they're still struggling with the issue of a budget. we did something on this last year, and as i've said before, i am happy to debate all sorts of different reforms that save medicare. but the status quo is unacceptable. because the status quo as president obama, senator lieberman and many others pointed out, status quo leads to bankruptcy. so when you hear about proposed reforms compared to the status quo, that's intellectually dishonest. because the status quo is not a possibility. >> two house freshmen republicans speaking to reporters on the health care bill, the ipad reveal, independent repayment advisory board.
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they can conduct it without congressional approval. many want the issue repealed completely. the national journal writing many conservative groups like club for growth and the family research council, critical of house speaker john boehner and the house republican leader, eric cantor for peace reveal votes. you can read more by logging onto national journal. it is the center e piece focusing on the economy. today the issue coming up, will the president commemorate this anniversary? >> the idea he may not speak about this on the anniversary seems odd. with the poll out today, we added up 67% of republicans
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tlourt the bill or throughout the mandate, not the whole bill. the white house has been talking for two years about educating the public, talking about the benefits of this. doesn't this polling data suggest that people are not buying it. >> polling data suggests in part hundreds of millions of dollars spent attacking it, and what we're focusing on is implementing it so that more and more americans see the benefits that it brings. i didn't make any announcement whatsoever. we are focused on implementing the bill, not on, you know, discussing anniversaries particularly. although i'm sure others will want to discuss this. and i think if you look at or talk to americans and look at the data.
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by the alternative on this. giving power back to throw you off your insurance policy if you develop an illness or prevent you from getting insurance if you have a preexisting condition or prevent young americans from staying on the insurance policy. the answer will be no we don't want that. the calls to change those pods changes away will be met with a great deal of skepticism when people talk about this and focus on it. and let others have that if they want. >> white house press secretary jay carney earlier in the day. let's focus on the two issues.
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he said, quote, over the past week leader reid and senate democrats have worked overtime to find excuses not to paz the jobs act that the president and job creators across the country. it also removes various regulations on start-ups and small businesses. outside groups fear that it could lead to what are called boiler rooms to take advantage of unsophisticated investors. so there you have the republican leader telling the senate to pass the bill, as passed by the house of representatives. back to transportation.
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the white house began to pressure the house of representatives to accept the senate transportation bill, a $10 # billion bill that was passed last week by the senate but may now have extensions by the house of representatives. it was the first shoe that jay carney brought up at the daily briefing earlier today. last week the senate passed a bipartisan transportation bill that will keep construction workers on the job and keep our economy growing. an economy built to last depends on a world class infrastructure system that allows us to transport our people and goods as quickly and effectively as possible. that's why we need to continue to make investments to create jobs by rellg and modernizing roads, bridges and railways. that's why my administration will continue to fight for the
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long-term investments needed to ensure that america continues to compete and succeed in a global economy. he is calling on -- we commended the senate last -- we are calling on the house to follow the senate's lead and pass bipartisan transportation legislation. well, we commended the senate for passing the bill. i'm not going to write the legislation for them. we are saying the house, like the senate, should act in a bipartisan way and pass a bill. the% looks forward to signing into a law a transportation bill because of f the absolute necessity that we continue to
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build and maintain infrastructure. >> the administration is not necessarily putting out a statement in support of this bill. >> well, whatever distinctions -- i hear you. look, you can draw whatever distinctions you want. we strongly urge the house to pass bipartisan transportation legislation, as the senate has. and the president looks forward to signing into law a bill that is bipartisan in nature. we wan to see action by congress on piece of bipartisan legislation on this important topic. >> white house press secretary jay carney on the transportation bill. some observers on capitol hill are looking at the possibility that the house would pass a
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short-term extension on the transportation bill. it's scheduled to expire on march 31st. speaker boehner's office said he will not decide on the final course until he has a chance to meet with members of the house republican caucus. this is washington today on c-span radio. robert mcdowel is testifying on capitol hill on the issue of the the budget, also testifying, julie jan cow ski, who is the chairman of the federal communications commission. the other issue is the international regulation of the web, the internet. last month there was an op-ed that you wrote in the wall street journal on the internet. and it was largely about the united nations having more authority over the internet.


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